A woman was arrested the other day for throwing a newborn baby boy into a garbage bin across the street from the hospital where it was born. During the police interrogation, she said she threw the baby away because she didn’t want a baby – she wanted a fully grown son. The police tried to explain that the baby would one day grow up to be a fully grown boy, but the woman was adamant. She didn’t want all the hassle of a baby. She wanted a grown-up son that could take care of himself now.
Just as there is “Peace Now,” and “Mashiach Now,” there is “Medinat Yehudah Now!” All are infantile obsessions, irresponsible, perverted orientations to life, as dangerous as letting a child drive a car when his feet don’t even reach the pedals.
The prophecy of Ezekiel teaches us this by describing the Redemption of Israel as a slowly evolving process that unfolds over time, and not as something that is born complete from the beginning. Once the Jewish People return to the Land of Israel, they undergo a spiritual metamorphosis, like that of a butterfly emerging from a caterpillar cocoon.
The prophet describes it as a spiritual heart transplant, in which our unfeeling, exile hearts and confused mentalities are removed and replaced with new, holy minds and hearts. Like a transplant, the process is accompanied by a lot of uncertainty, fear, and bleeding. But the operation turns out a success:
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; from all of your filth and from all of your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel, Ch.36).
When we wake up from the surgery, we wake up anew, not American Jews, or French Jews, or secular Israeli Jews, but as G-d’s People:
“And you shall dwell in the Land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people, and I will be your G-d.”
This national rebirth of the Jewish People in the Jewish Land leads to the ultimate goal of world history – the sanctification of G-d throughout all the world, when all mankind will proclaim that the G-d of Israel is king:
“And they shall say, ‘This Land that was blighted is become like the Garden of Eden, and the waste and blighted and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.’ Then the nations that are left around you shall know that I the L-rd have rebuilt the ruined places and have replanted that which was blighted; I the L-rd have spoken it and I will do it.”
We have G-d’s assurance that He will do it. Everyone must play his and her share in this grand historical pageant, and know that G-d will bring it to pass.
There are those who will have the fortune to board the boat of Redemption and take an actual part in the rebuilding in the Land; there are those who will help from afar; and there are those will write angry, complaining talkbacks, like a baby who doesn’t get his bottle now.
Builder or kvetcher? Take your pick.